The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has covered as of December last year an estimated P1.3 trillion-worth of non-financial government assets such as roads, school buildings and power plants for inclusion in the National Asset Registry System (NARS).
National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the NARS, which provides the government with a consolidated database of its non-financial, strategically important assets, has an initial 533,925 asset data count in its system.
These include 348,938 school buildings under the Department of Education (DepEd); 8,337 bridges and 33,119 kilometers (km) of roads under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); and 247 irrigation facilities and dams maintained by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), she said in a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
She said this NARS database also lists 122 social welfare centers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD); 1,580 towers of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT); 15 power plants under the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM); and 268 government hospitals and 68 rehabilitation centers under the Department of Health (DOH).
In 2017, the BTr launched the NARS to maintain a reliable inventory of the national government’s non-financial assets and help in the monitoring, inspection and validation and management of assets under custody by the National Government.
“The NARS provides the government a consolidated database of its strategically important non-financial assets, thus enabling more efficient financial risk management, enhance service delivery, and improve risk reduction for sustainable asset management in the long term,” De Leon said.
She said the BTr is currently working on enhancing the NARS to a web-based portal and with more functionalities with the help of development partners such as the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
As the BTr further expands the initiative, they are looking at other strategically important assets to include in their inventory. Supporting in the selection of these assets is the DBCC Technical Working Group on Asset Management as stated by Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2020-1 or the Philippine Government Asset Management Policy (PGAMP).
The JMC, issued by Secretary Dominguez, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado and acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) serves as a guide to government agencies and government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) on operationalizing the country’s asset management system. The JMC also requires the submission of agencies’ non-financial asset data to the NARS.
A Philippine government asset management policy is aimed at “increasing the efficiency, improving decision-making, managing risks better and reducing costs in government,” the joint circular said.
Among the uses of the NARS data is to support the National Indemnity Insurance Program (NIIP). The NIIP was one of the recommendations of the Interagency Committee (IAC) on Government Property Insurance (IAC GPI) composed of the BTr, GSIS, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Insurance Commission (IC).
The NIIP, an initiative being led by the BTr, aims to provide adequate and comprehensive insurance protection to socio-economically important government assets against perils such as typhoons, floods, storm surges, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
De Leon said that in tandem with the GSIS, the BTr aims to successfully place by mid-2021 the policy for the NIIP, which will cover non-financial assets like school buildings, bridges and roads in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the country’s eastern seaboard.
She said the BTr is coordinating with the DepEd and DPWH on the revalidation of data on the schools, road and bridges to be listed under the NIIP to determine those that were damaged following the series of natural calamities in 2020, and review the requirements and timelines for the policy to factor in asset changes and current market sentiment.